Toyota’s new hot hatch is almost here. The GR Corolla will be released on March 31 at 9:30 ET (02.30 BST April 1), the company’s U.S. Arm confirmed.
The teaser video accompanying the announcement features a large front wing brake duct – with a GR badge on the side – as well as a GR-branded red brake caliper and an embossed ‘GR-Four’ logo under a multi-spoke gloss black wheel. The next component suggests the use of GR Yaris’ all-wheel drive system.
We do not expect GR Yaris’ big brother to come to the European market. Instead, the model will focus on North America, where GR Yaris is not sold.
Earlier this month, Toyota gave us a glimpse of its upcoming GR Corolla hot hatchback in a new video ad for the recently released GR86 Sportscar.
The GR Corolla is briefly parked in the background of an abandoned shopping mall as it passes in front of the new GR86. While the video doesn’t reveal much about the car, there are GR levers similar to the pre-production versions of the Supra, GR86 and GR Yaris.
A rear shot at the end gives a few more clues. As soon as the car’s engine comes to life it is possible to detect a fine rear spoiler and a rear light cluster which is the same design as the standard Corolla.
Expected to go on sale in 2023 – GR Corolla could be powered by the same 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine found in the GR Yaris. An earlier teaser image from last year revealed the interior of the GR Corolla, which has an instrument cluster showing “G: 16” where time will usually be shown. It is understood that this is a reference to the G16E-GTS engine code of the GR Yaris for the turbocharged three-cylinder unit. With the Corolla Climate Control dials 2, 6 and 8, the GR Yaris may have more than the 257bhp power figure – just like the 268bhp Japanese-market GR Yaris.
The Corolla showed the Sat-Nav car on a side of the road called “GR Four”. This all-wheel drive set-up uses finite-slip differential on both front and rear axles combined with electronically controlled center differential.
An automatic gearbox was also shown – it is thought to be the only transmission option available. Meanwhile, Toyota is working on an automated GR Yaris, which will probably use the same transmission as this Hot Corolla.
There has been no high-powered Toyota Corolla since the early 2000s T-Sport, which delivered 189bhp of power from its supercharged 1.8-liter engine, so the promise of a new GR Corolla is a bold move from Toyota, especially to its direct rivals. The range will range from the Volkswagen Golf R to the new Honda Civic Type R in the United States.
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